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San Jose Girls Are The New Force in Cybersecurity

Shiyama Clunie of AT&T presents $25,000 to the Tower Foundation of SJSU for the Girls STEM Network: Leadership Program, which teaches cybersecurity to local girls.
Shiyama Clunie of AT&T presents $25,000 to the Tower Foundation of SJSU for the Girls STEM Network: Leadership Program, which teaches cybersecurity to local girls.
AT&T presented $25,000 to the Tower Foundation of San Jose State University (SJSU) on Friday to support the Girls STEM Network: Leadership. The program prepares 120 middle school students in and around the San Jose region for careers in Cybersecurity. In coordination with the TechGYRLs program of the YWCA of Silicon Valley, this 30-week program matches female students with SJSU mentors to coordinate computer science and cybersecurity projects with local schools.

“Girls STEM Network: Leadership introduces girls to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) early on so that they know careers in these fields are interesting, fun and accessible,” said SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi. “With the help of AT&T, we are able to deliver this influential program – empowering girls in San Jose to explore futures as STEM professionals.”

A lead instructor and SJSU undergraduates enrolled in a STEM-focused service learning class co-teach the course. This arrangement allows the middle school girls to develop relationships with mentors from similar backgrounds. Participants conduct research and deliver presentations to peers and younger students on STEM subjects, including computer science and cybersecurity. The girls also use their research to address community issues.

“Fewer girls than boys aspire to STEM careers, often times affected by negative stereotypes,” said Shiyama Clunie, AT&T California. “This program expands the horizon for these girls early on, encouraging them not to leave STEM work to the boys. By bringing real world issues such as cyber-security into the classroom, we hope to show the relevance of this type of learning and resist forces that drive girls out of the field.”

AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have given more than $97 million to support STEM initiatives since 1987. Projects supported by AT&T contributions range from STEM scholarship programs to science and math focused summer camps for at-risk youth to hands-on technology labs and elite robotics competitions at the nation's leading universities. In addition to its overall funding of innovative STEM programs, AT&T remains focused on improving opportunities for STEM learning in K-12 education while helping at-risk youth prepare for work in the 21st century.

For more information on The Tower Foundation of SJSU, visit:http://www.sjsu.edu/towerfoundation

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